No. 21 Virginia Defeats Miami in Overtime, 84-75
CHARLOTTESVILLE – Lyndra Littles hit a game-tying heave in regulation and finished with 27 points as Virginia (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP) beat Miami 84-75 in overtime Thursday night.
Monica Wright added 21 points and Aisha Mohammed had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers (20-7, 6-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who barely ended a two-game losing streak.
Miami (13-13, 2-9) led most of the way in search of its first victory against a ranked team in more than three years, but saw Littles tie it with a no-look heave from the foul line that banked in with 3.8 seconds left in regulation, and Virginia took charge in overtime.
Freshman Shenise Johnson led the Hurricanes with 25 points, including two free throws with 12.5 seconds left in regulation that made Littles’ improbable tying bank shot necessary.
In the overtime, Ariana Moorer scored on a drive, Littles hit a wide-open 3-pointer and Moorer added a free throw for Virginia before Epiphany Woodson hit a 3-pointer for Miami.
But Britnee Millner hit a 3-pointer for her only basket of the game for the Cavaliers, Wright added a pair of free throws and Charmaine Clark scored Miami’s only other basket.
LaToya Cunningham added 11 points for the Hurricanes.
Woodson made an 18-footer to give Miami a 68-66 lead with 28 seconds left in regulation, but Wright tied it for Virginia, scoring inside with just 16 seconds left on the clock.
Millner fouled Johnson on an inbounds play with 12.5 seconds left, sending the freshman to the line for a 1-and-1 opportunity, and she swished them both to make it 70-68.
After a timeout, Virginia got the ball to Littles, who was stopped at the foul line attempting to drive and threw up a no-look heave, clearly aware the clock was running down. The ball banked off the backboard and through with 3.8 seconds left, and Wright blocked Woodson’s 3-point try just before the buzzer, sending the game to an extra period.
Virginia trailed most of the way, but finally pulled ahead at 48-47 on Moorer’s foul-line jumper with 9:05 to play. It was the Cavaliers’ first lead since the opening minutes, and it didn’t last as Riquna Williams hit a 3-pointer for her only field goal and Cunningham followed a Virginia miss with her third 3-pointer of the game to make it 53-48.
The Cavaliers finally drew even again at 64-all on Littles’ basket in the lane with 1:33 left. Two free throws by Diane Barnes restored the Hurricanes’ lead with 1:11 left, but Littles took a feed from Mohammed in the lane to tie it at 66.
The game was part of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) “Pink Zone” initiative a global, unified effort to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond.
Virginia encouraged all fans to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. During halftime, doctors and nurses from the UVa Cancer Center were recognized for their contributions to cancer research. A special video in tribute to the patients of the UVa Cancer Center was also played at halftime.
For the second time this season, Virginia wore its pink uniforms (the Cavaliers also wore them on Feb. 15 at NC State).
Up next, Virginia hosts Boston College on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. The senior class of Lyndra Littles, Kristen London, Britnee Millner and Aisha Mohammed will be honored prior to the game.
Sunday, Feb. 22 is also is Fan Appreciation Night at John Paul Jones Arena. Throughout the game, fans will be selected to receive various Nike prizes courtesy of the women’s basketball team. This night provides the opportunity to thank all of the fans that support the women’s basketball program throughout the year.